An All India Tennis Association (AITA) official told PTI, “This year we have nominated Ankita and Prajnesh for the Arjuna Award, while Balaram Sir and Enrico Piperno have been nominated for the Life Time Achievement Award, Dhyanchand Award.
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Ankita has been a key player in India’s Billie Jean King Cup team for the past three years. The 28-year-old was also nominated for the Arjuna Award last year, but Asian Games gold medalist Divij Saran managed to bag the award.
Prajnesh is currently one of the most mature players in India. His career would have been very different had he not lost five crucial years to a knee fracture. The 31-year-old left-hander from Chennai is ranked 148th in the ATP rankings. He played five matches in Davis Cup for the country.
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Balram Singh, nominated in the Lifetime Achievement category, has a 50-year association with Indian tennis. He is in the running for this honor with Piperno. He coached the Davis Cup team for 27 consecutive times between 1991-2001. The 73-year-old coach reached the quarterfinals as a player at Junior Wimbledon and Junior US Open in 1966.
He is a member of the Senior Selection Committee and has also chaired it in the past. Asian Games (1982) silver medalist Pepperano, 59, coached India’s first Grand Slam winner Mahesh Bhupathi from 1997 to 2003. Leander Pesce also showed a great way.
He coached the Indian Fed Cup team from 2000 to 2012 and coached the national women’s team at the Asian Games in Busan (2002), Doha (2006) and Guangzhou (2010). Last year, former Davis Cup coach Nandan Bal was awarded the Dhyan Chand award
Tags: Ankita Raina, Arjuna Award, Balram Singh, Dhyan Chand Award, Enrico Piperno, National Tennis Federation, Prajnesh Guneswaran
First Published: June 30, 2021, 14:30 IST